Day 272 of 366 Blog Challenge 2012

Hello all

It has been a busy week for me – out every day since Sunday and so I thought it was time to take a deep breath today and take  stock of  things. It has been hard to get moving and do anything. I have pottered around not achieving much but enjoying every moment of it.

How sad, I missed ‘World Stay in Bed Day’ on 23rd September for mitochondrial disease.

I have a busy Saturday planned tomorrow so for today it is time to down tools and ‘BE’ a little. In fact, one of my secret pleasures when I am tired (no longer secret ha ha) is to go and sit in bed after breakfast and a kitchen clean up, and read my latest book/novel for as long as it takes.

It fells so decadent to do this in the morning when one is usually productive at this hour. Oh, how I love it! I love the feeling of a whole day at home to myself. But what do YOU consider a decadent day? All of us have a different idea of what constitutes a decadent day. I read this on a blog which I certainly related to:

“Saturday was a decadent day.  What does that mean to me?  Slept in a little, nowhere we had to go, no appointments we had to make, just a Saturday off.”

“Why do I call this day decadent?  Because I did nothing.  Any day that I do nothing much always feels vaguely sinful to me.  Workaholic and a control freak; free time can be anxiety-filled, but I’m getting better.”

But it’s true, I know I have been conditioned to ‘be productive’ and ‘achieve achieve achieve’ but I ask you: what is wrong – every now and again – in being decadent and doing NOTHING MUCH?

The fact of the matter is, on any given day when we do not achieve anything, is a day of achievement … of sorts. Anyone who can get through a whole day in this manner, should feel very proud of themselves because the pull to cross things off a list or to ‘get things done’ is huge in this day and age.

How about putting this on your list to cross off: ACHIEVE NOTHING!

So there you have it folks: DECADENCE. A word that sounds so sinful but what exactly does decadence mean? Perhaps my understanding of the word differs from the dictionary folks? I was surprised to find what the dictionaries have to say:

decadence: the act or process of falling into a lower state; decay; deterioration. (Macquarie)

decadence: moral or cultural deterioration especially after a peak or culmination of achievement; self-indulgent. (Oxford)

Now, I understand what has happened to me today! After a peak of achievement from ‘needing to be in certain places’ has led to my ‘cultural deterioration’ folks. I need to stop. Yep, this sure is self-indulgent.

I discussed this subject with Geoff this morning and he tells me that ‘decadence’ for him means someone who escapes reality! This is because he has no idea how to ‘do nothing.’ I often describe him as “Action Man’ and his idea of a self-indulgent day is to go to Bunnings Hardware for the day. Interesting eh?

This shows of course, that all of us are very different. I think each of us knows our own selves best and we should do whatever it is that we need to do. I read an article this morning entitled “Is it self-indulgent to be self-compassionate?” The author Kristin Neff, Ph.D. an American therapist who works at the University of Texas, says:

“The number one reason people give for why they aren’t more self-compassionate is that they’re afraid if they’re too soft on themselves, they’ll let themselves get away with anything.

They really believe that their internal judge plays a crucial role in keeping them in line and on track. In other words, they confuse self-compassion with self-indulgence.”

Note the word ‘self’ inserted here.

It turns out the research shows that having self-compassion helps people remain motivated to exercise, quit smoking and to stick to their diets. So, self-compassion on ourselves when we are tired and need a day off, actually motivates us afterwards to keep on going. How very interesting!

So what is self-compassion?Self-compassion is extending compassion to one’s self in instances of perceived inadequacy, failure, or general suffering. Neff has defined self-compassion as being composed of three main components – self-kindness, common humanity, and mindfulness.”

So folks, if you feel the need for a decadent day, be assured it is not going to lead you into a life of indolence. No. Kristin Neff assures us with this:

“So don’t worry. If you start treating yourself with compassion you won’t sit around all day watching TV and eating buckets of Kentucky Fried chicken. Rather than encouraging self-indulgence, self-compassion helps motivate us to reach our full potential. And it sure feels a lot better than the whip!”

Doesn’t this give you permission to be decadent folks? So when you are tempted to be too harsh on yourself for whatever reason, or you need some down time, just remember to be kind to yourself and to give yourself the same advice as you would give a loved one who needs a little compassion … only this one is called SELF-compassion.

Just don’t forget to put the SELF in there … when necessary allow yourself to be decadent!